Masahiro Tanaka pitches the Yankees to a victory in his first start since early July


Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka looked sharp Sunday in his first start since July 8, scattering five hits over 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-2 win over the visiting Blue Jays. He struck out four batters, did not issue a walk, and only went to one three-ball count all afternoon.

Tanaka was diagnosed two months ago with a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and that injury almost always leads to Tommy John reconstructive surgery, but the 25-year-old right-hander chose the rest and rehab route and it has gone smoothly so far. He’ll make one more start later this week and then the Yankees can reassess his status in the offseason. By the looks of things, Tanaka will be a full-go for the Yankees on Opening Day 2015.

The native of Japan owns a fantastic 2.47 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 139/19 K/BB ratio through his first 134 2/3 major league innings. He signed a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees over the winter.